Teamwork makes the dream work

We’re coming up to the end of the second term of our Capstone project, and we’re expected to have a somewhat working demo before Spring rolls around. Now that we’re this far through, we have a much better perspective on the project overall.

When we started our project, the team dynamic felt like it lent better to flatter organizational style, with everyone having equal say in how things would move forward. I think this came up mainly because nobody on the team was particularly more experienced than anyone else and because it seemed like we all either wanted or were okay with it being more of a “everyone just work on what you want to work on” dynamic.

As we started and progressed through the first and most of the second terms, this dynamic worked smoothly enough. There were some hiccups that came from no central leadership – a couple meetings where only one person showed up, for example. But we didn’t hit any issues that were big enough that anyone felt we needed to make any major changed.

But midway through the second term, as as we started joining together the major parts of our web tool, things started to get a little cloudier. We realized that our project management software wasn’t being updated very well. There were also a lot of tasks that were overlooked or maybe just not organized in a clear way. None of this was anyone’s fault in particular, but it was evidence of our flat-org style biting us in the butt a little. Since nobody was in charge of our project management tasks, nobody really took ownership of it. There were various other small things that fell through the cracks, but I think the biggest downside of all of this was just the lack of what I’d call “good” pressure that comes from the a certain level of accountability.

Looking back at it now, I don’t think the solution would’ve necessarily been to flip to a more top-down leadership style and putting one of us “in charge.” But I think it would’ve been beneficial to have more accountability for sections of the project. There have been things that naturally came about – one of us is typically the “meeting scheduler”, another of us handles the recording and uploads for our version updates, things like that. But if you asked us things like “who’s in charge of making sure that project tasks are getting updated?” or “who manages your repository and its branches, pull requests, etc.?” The answer is nobody.

But there’s still a term left and there’s no reason we can’t implement some improvements, so maybe I’ll have an update to this next time. Until then!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email






Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *